Dominica’s best alternative is tourism – Douglas


Tourism is the best alternative for Dominica to be competitive in the “fierce” global environment, Tourism Minister Ian Douglas has said.

In his remarks at the Dominica Labour Party’s Delegates conference in Grand Fond on Sunday Douglas said contrary to some belief, tourism can make Dominica stand out greater than several other industries.

“While there is talk in certain quarters, questioning the rationale for the investing in the sector, let it be said that tourism provides us with the best competitive advantage in a global environment that is brutal and fierce,” Douglas argued. “We have the assets, the talents and the tenacity to develop and build a world-class industry right here in Dominica.”

Dominica generates more than $180 million per year from tourism, and more than 2,500 to 3,000 people are employed “directly or indirectly” in tourism-related jobs on the island.

Douglas pointed out that some major factors must be given greater attention if tourism is to reach its maximum potential. He called on citizens to find more creative ways to market Dominica as the Nature Island and intensify efforts to increase air access to Dominica “at a time when this is becoming more expensive”.

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  1. negre marwon
    February 16, 2011

    We should never abandon Agriculture for Tourism. One should complement the other.
    They should be developed simultaneously.What are we going to feed the tourist when
    they visit?Sea water and air? And when they don’t visit what are we going to eat?
    I guess Ian”s balls?
    It doesn’t matter to me because I will continue to plant my garden up there in Morne au Diable
    wether tourist visit or not.

  2. RastaMarn
    February 16, 2011

    After-rall Man Spar, Man you have to be Joking wee wiff us to come and say dat, you really think that is the alternative? You need to take a look at the sister islands of Antigua and Barbuda, and all them others dat is dependent on dem Americans and Europeans to come Spend their money, when dem people dere money run-shot and they stop coming to spend it then what…

    What about the little sister Island of Anguilla whose main economy is dependent on individuals coming from other ports to be serviced, and be serve… Didn’t Skerro sign off some of the Dominican IMF reserves to them because their Tourism Sector was hit so bad from the dent in the World Economical Crisis? Boi Spar behave yeah with your Tourism ting… De little Tourism we have so far is already too much leave that alone yeah I don’t want when I come to (bave in the sea) Purple Turtle it too crowded for me to come drink my little peanut punch, or then some big investor come and fence up Coconut Beach and say it’s now a private resort, with “PRIVATE BEACH” posted by the road with security checkpoint and Marn cannot go down there anymore to check their scene… DA need to invest in DA’s natural resources and not on Service Industry…

    Spar take a look at how The Ross University is affecting the economy in Possie, and rethink your thoughts on your response again…
    In my humble opinion what DA needs is investment in all those young inspiring minds that are getting out of PSS, SDA, Grammar School, Convent, and all them other local Secondary Schools, with no where to go to further their education. Investment should be in the minds of the future generation, so next time we have a major construction we don’t have to import some dude from Barbados to Run the project…

    Tourism in not the next best thing for Dominica… On the sister Island of Saint Lucia there is an Of Shore campus of Monroe College. Look into setting up something like that so the main resource of Dominica will be able to stay there and bring the money home instead of taking it to some foreign land…
    Children won’t have to be wasting their time begging to get some grant from all-you (government officials) to get to go to Venezuela and Cuba, to see mizeh while trying to get a little education… Next ting you know those that get turned down get so depressed after being turned down so many times they wind up making baby and throwing there futures away…

    IF anything Dominica have enough resources to be more aggressive in the agricultural industry, with the wave of the development countries all concerned about Organic-this-and-Organic-that, why don’t you suggest to the agricultural minister to do more towards that concept….

  3. stoney
    February 15, 2011

    hmm tell us where are the spill off not reflect anywhere!! as we dont have stayover tourism!

  4. Gary
    February 15, 2011

    The statement made by Tourism Minister Ian Douglas is very relevant and essential for Dominica’s growth and Development, had i herd that statement some years ago i would object to it, but through my experience
    first hand having worked in the Industry regional and International seeing the impact of Tourism, there is no reason why Dominica cannot and should not embrace such and Industry with priority. That does not mean we should abandon our Agriculture Industry or sacrifice it, they both have a role to play in our development. I have always said that Dominica is blessed to be able to have the resources to support both which some of our sister Islands do not have that luxury, and so some of them are solely dependent on one Industry, Tourism, and doing extremely good. To those who oppose such a statement, just look through out the Caribbean and there is not one Country that is solely dependent on Agriculture for its foreign exchange, even Jamaica as an example,Tourism is it’s biggest Industry and foreign exchange earner and they are surly taking advantage of that. The Tourism industry in Dominica is in its infant stage with great potential even to rival and surpass the Leading Countries. From many years we have put all our emphasis on Agriculture and neglect our Tourism Industry while other Countries in the region were building and embracing that industry with great results and benefits. so now we have some catching up to do.

    The development of any industry needs capital. resources,and infrastructure and certain things in place so
    as to make that industry feasible, profitable and sustainable. As in our case wanting to develop our Tourism Industry we all know we lack an International Airport but that should not be a deterrent or excuse for not developing such industry, just a reminder, an International Airport would also be beneficial to the Agriculture Industry especially in this modern times where things are needed quick, especially perishable produce getting it to market, so to criticize the push to Tourism echoing the the lack of an International Airport, by those in favor of an Agricultural base economy this shows that in an Agricultural base economy an International Airport is just as important, and not only to Tourism.

    I hear comments about we need to be self sufficient, let us not forget we can only be self sufficient to a certain degree. In an Agriculture base economy it is not only about being self sufficient, that type of Agriculture is subsistence farming. Is that what we really want? I do not think so , we need to sell produce on a large scale to increase our foreign exchange which is badly needed. It is not only producing food for our self., sure it is a very good to support and buy what we grow, there are benefits to that, it helps reduce our import, more money stays in the country, the bottom line we should be importing less and exporting more and not just being self sufficient that is not what an Agricultural base economy is about

    One of the things in the Minister’s statement that got my attention and i disagree with is his call
    on citizens to find more creative ways to market Dominica as the Nature Island and intensify efforts to increase air access to Dominica at a time when this is becoming more expensive. I thought that was suppose to be the role of the Dominica Invest Authority. In the last couple of Months we have seen Dominica being featured prominently in major News articles receiving positive reviews, this should tell us something and send us a message as to wake up to see the potential of our Tourism Industry and not just something to be read and be forgotten. I hope the statement made by the Minister is just not lip service but something that should be pursued seriously.

  5. development
    February 15, 2011

    People ,people pleased stop, stop… remember other nation are reading these comments, you are so ignorant, some talking about, put agriculture first before tourism, some saying the place to put an international airport, the wind are too strong there, it’s mountainous, Have anyone of you did a feasibility study? Where you should & shouldn’t put an inter airport, antiqua is a smaller country than DA, Grenada & other country reclaimed land from the sea, SVG blowing-up hills & mountain with dynamiting just to have an international airport! They realize (Agriculture & Tourism will help there country) when they send their produce to Europe, Canada or US countries; half of it spoils why, because its takes 5to7 day to get there, so they are building an international airport that almost cost one Billion EC dollars, EVERYONE was saying the wind is too strong there, they bring in people to do a study, and everything is ok. You understand the point, so don’t let our crazy imagination for development put air in our brain. Those who say it cannot be done shouldn’t interrupt the people doing it, leave it for the professional.

    • jean
      February 15, 2011

      thank for your comment. Dominica’s need to realize that some of the comments makes no sense.some of the people are to busy to comment on every topic, while not realizing their sentence’s are not being phrase in the right context. you seems to know what you are talking about. keep it up and keep the knowledge flowing.

  6. mouth of the south
    February 15, 2011

    i have come to the conclusion that a handful of us bloggers on d.n.o are more intelligent and can better manage the country than our leaders,,,,,, what is wrong,,,don’t they see what we see,,, or is that when u get in the game u r transformed into something evil that u don’t care for u constituents or country anymore,,,, why not marry agriculture and poultry with tourism,,, makes more sense to me,,,, why don’t we build manufacturing plants to process agricultural products,,, why? why? if we have 20 mil for a so called palace then why don’t we allocate funds for real development n i’m not talking bout another road etc,,, real development that will keep people employed for years to come,,,, our leaders have and is still failing us,,,, ian is justifying why the hotel should be in possie instead of marigot,,,simple,,,,, that’s what it is,,,, but our leaders have left agriculture for dead,,, it’s simply waiting for the pallbearers and undertakers to bring it to its ‘rightful’ place,,,, if we don’t get our agricultural industry going then we’ll pay miserably at that,,,, farmers don’t care if their produce gets shipped to england or to roseau market,,,, as long as they can sell n provide for their family n get their children higher education,,,,, if we had production plants for agricultural produce then we’d not have a need to panic when england for e.g don’t take our food or whatever case may be,,,, with more hotels n increase in over-stay tourists our agricultural industry will have a market right here in dominica since hotels and locals alike will be buying from the farmers whether directly or indirectly so it’s a win-win,,,, so for ian to say that tourism’s the best alternative gives the sentiment that he and the other leaders have disregarded agriculture and any means for reviving it,,,,

  7. Devoted Dominican.
    February 15, 2011


  8. Brit
    February 15, 2011

    You are wrong, Minister, its agriculture. Dominica cannot match up to the rest of the world in tourism and we have a very long way to go. Agriculture however is the food basket of the world and food is on its way to becoming scarce. Tourism is a fragile industry, one shake from Morne Au Diable and the tourism will skip out of town. We need to develop agriculture and manufacturing to save the island. Stop the lip service and get to work.

    • Beat the drums.. The drum. goes " Lang padat patat patat Padang palang badang"
      February 15, 2011

      Smh when last did you live in Dominica or the Caribbean?

      • Brit
        February 15, 2011

        Still living there after 30 years. Did the name Brit deceive you?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  9. only
    February 15, 2011

    DA’s best alternative is to produce things for export, agricultural and otherwise. DA will never be a touristy island as it caters mostly to the eco-tourist, which are much fewer in number.

    The ministers need to get real and off their usual bandwagons. They need to cut the duties and encourage business and productive people to come here instead of making it so difficult that people just say we’ll go elsewhere.
    It is not easy to do business in DA.

  10. never alone
    February 15, 2011

    Mr Douglas,
    How can we “intensify efforts to increase air access to Dominica” when you as minister of tourism could not convince the PM to concentrate on an international airport instead of the millions dumped at Melville hall? You guys need to be honest with us and don’t take us as fools. You are asking us to intensify our efforts to increse air access to DA and yet you guys are doing the opposite.

    February 15, 2011

    Talk is cheap Mr Douglas. The question is what has been done to elevate our competitiveness in the regional tourism. There is no way we can compete without internation air access. No doubt. The very same people who claim that we don’t need an international airport are the one claiming thjat we need hotels and a 27 million dollar mansion for the president. It is very clear that our government has no vision. We have been hearing this speech from Ian for the last omit years.

    Ian if we must enter this competition as valid or formidable players then why did you allow the cruise ship company to slip out of Dominica when the very same company had been asking the Dominica government to clean up our act. Instead we had the mayor arrogantly declaring Roseau one of the cleanest cities in the Caribbean. What Ian and company did not tell us is that the cruise ship company decided to pull out of Dominica and gave the government 3 years before any more consideration can be given to Dominica. I do hope that there is one tinny little bit of conscience left in the president – just to say no we don’t need that type of spending on a malice mansion.

    Are we ready to take Dominica to the next level when we spent 150 million dollars to upgrade an airport where people must now stand outside in the elements to go through security. In my opinion that is regression ;as a Dominican that is most embarrassing. Ian I am still trying to catch that vision when we spent money on an airport just to get night landing when American airline will not take a chance and LIAT will not venture nor will they be forced to alter schedule or add flights into Dominica. After ten years of this administration there is nothing that this DLP administration can claim they did to boost tourism. Every bit of tourism benefit is because of the work of previous administrations. It would have been great that this government would pick up the baton and run the race to the next stop and we have not seen that. The Melville Hall airport is so far the biggest blunder since the Earl Williams water mountain on the bay front.r

    I am being pragmatic and not negative. Unless we acknowledge our short comings we are destined to repeat our failures. So to those who will try to shoot down my honest opinion in the interest of partisanship all I ask is to find some honesty within yourself. Self development only comes through honest sincere personal evaluation.

  12. zuma
    February 15, 2011

    Mr Minister i agree with your point

    Dominica is natrually beautiful by far compare to the other Islands.

    However Dominica faces a MAJOR ISSUE in the tourism industry. *ACCESS*



    A tourist / holiday individual is seeking comfort and easy access. A tourist wants to get to his/ her destination in one day so that they can begin to enjoy what they pay for.

    after so much flying no tourists wants to overnight anywhere before getting to their final destination. this is the big PROBLEM FOR DOMINICA.

    I have tried to sell Dominia to my friends and they have been more than willing to travel to DA with me or alone but when i have to explain how to get there its a no no.

    Dominica is not Australia. so why cant we get there in one day??? instead of overnighting???. (i have overnighted in the past)

    I am all for tourism because i know Dominica wIll excell in this field, but please provide better and easier access to get there.

  13. Ibn Gabrioli
    February 15, 2011

    This is another example of a government lost at sea, with not the slightest understanding of the bountiful resources existing in Dominica. The statement makes clear the lack of a cohesive developmental plan for all of Dominica.

    The irony is, the Minister is making that statement on the heels of a conference on agriculture held in Grand Fond one week earlier organized by Dr. Fontaine. It is as if Mr. Douglas’s assertion intends to undermine and negate any gains made by the conference.

    One wonders if the Minister’s comments were not deliberate!!

    When you consider Dominica’s yearly food import bill (400-600 million), you begin to realize we are on a serious collision course with history, indeed our destiny. Fact is most of our food depends on imports.

    Dominica’s current trade deficit is unsustainable at the rate of: $80M export to over $500M import! That should scare our policy makers to heavens.

    And why does tourism has to be the only alternative? In fact, we should be working toward marrying the agriculture and tourism sectors of the economy – for obvious reasons. Both need not be on a collision course, Mr. Douglas.

    • Muslim_Always
      February 15, 2011

      Strongly agree with you sir, that’s what I’ve been saying to these jack in the beanstalks! Diversify and focus more on our agroprocessing. One cannot put all their eggs in one basket!

    • The truth
      February 15, 2011

      Well said: I hope they read these statements on here. Both opposition and dlp.

    • Reader
      February 15, 2011

      My sentiments exactly!!! This is one of the most sensible comment that I have read from a reader on DNO.

    • My two cents
      February 15, 2011

      I agree one hundred percent

  14. stop the bleeding
    February 15, 2011

    yes ian thats why u need to bulldoze those tow montains called cabrits and put the international airport there…only one man benefiting from that place..common ian let portsmouth be comercial and roseau be industrial

    • Muslim_Always
      February 15, 2011

      You cannot have an international airport on the west coast due to the winds there!

    • The truth
      February 15, 2011

      Are u insane? Cabrits is a fundamental part of our history. Every Caribbean country has such a place. You want to knock it down. U must either be insane or stupid or both. Portsmouth can take the airport comin to think of it but you don’t need cabrits. Most of posse flat and there is land near cabrits too

      • stop the bleeding
        February 17, 2011

        muslim there is already a plan to put an airport in the cabrits area..check with the portsmouth council…the plans are there from since 1976…@ the truth u must be retarded…i want to know who eats history..and where does history grows yr economy…cabrits is just a piece of dry land…no wars were ever in cabrits..waste of good land …

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  15. mouth of the south
    February 15, 2011

    though tourism can bring in lots of revenue,,,, i share the same sentiment as previous bloggers,,, we must make ours self-sufficient,,, i think it would be the right thing to do if the gov’t decides to build manufacturing plants for agricultural and farm products,,,, we could use for our own and still export,,,, this would bounce back the agricultural industry and put alot of people to work,,, it would make the citizens healthier since we eat what we grow,,, so we’d consume fresh foods n produce,,, again tourism can be a good alternative but u have to do alot of necessary work to ensure u get it right and even then u may not get it right,,, we have to know our strength and weaknesses,,, and frankly our strength is in the agricultural sector and also develop poultry and farming,,, fishing is already established for local market,,,, so this and tourism then we can have a healthy economy,,, more families will be having income thus enabling more students the affordability of higher education and wiser leaders of tomorrow

    February 15, 2011

    What about agriculture?

    • The truth
      February 15, 2011

      Well agriculture is self sustainability. Agriculture is farming no? We need to educate the kids on the theory side to farming. How to Market products and not just grow crop and rare cattle and more… What it means to export, how to Market it and how to produce good quality for cheap and in huge amounts. What foreigners like to see, how they want to see it. How fast they want it after it is packaged. How to price food. Stuff like that. Agriculture should be Dca main focus. But that is in my eyes. I just think if we get that right then tourism can come. With more sustainability come more development. Cheaper food mean more restaurants. Self produce means more local alcohol. Get my drift?

  17. stupid
    February 15, 2011

    how foolish….very stupid. Agriculture and exports is the best alternative. We need a diverse economy not Tourism as The Alternative. The global price of food is going up, does this “useless” minister want us to continue to import chicken and the sort?
    Like The Truth stated we need to be more self sufficient…sustainable. Stop talking none sense about Tourism as Alternative. How are we gonna bring the tourist to Da country? Stay-over tourism is more profitable that cruise tourism….
    So please Mr Lazy Minister get REAL….

    • truth
      February 15, 2011

      so tell me some thing. do u think those people there care about us ? they think of them self and only there benefits.

      • The truth
        February 15, 2011

        It’s not about do they care. It’s maybe what they think is best. They have figures and I don’t so I don’t know. Buy I am a strong believer in common sense. Because even if we produce all our own food and don’t export a penny Dca is already saving. I just think our agriculture and farming needs to be boosted to the highest competitive level. And yes tourism can come but we don’t have to be so reliant. Look at Antigua all now. They need help with everything. Even the international airport they like to boast about is in trouble. Thats because they were not self sustainable. It’s too expensive to maintain and I think, think it was being maintained by foreigners

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  18. lol
    February 15, 2011

    dominica has a lot of work to do to catch up with the other caribbean countries in terms of tourism….im sorry but why take two planes to go to dominica wen i can take one to get to countries like antigua/st lucia with MORE exciting and attractive places to visit….?

    • lol
      February 15, 2011

      people dont only look for nature stuff wen they visit a country the main thing they’re looking for is ENTERTAINMENT…dominica doesnt have so much of that…its boring

      • The truth
        February 15, 2011

        You thinking of one kind of tourist. There are millions who want exactly what we have. There are all kinds of tourists. U thinking of mainstream. Dca Market to those who will come for months at a time

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  19. Dread!
    February 15, 2011

    Mr. Douglas, Dominica’s best alternative is self-reliance. Dominica is a country rich with natural resources. Our best alternative is making our own juice, our own fries, our own cooking oil, our own coffee, etc, etc. and stop importing so much. Peel the fig and make fig juice, fig chips, etc. Grow the grapefruits and the oranges and open a juice factory. Depend more on ourselves and see if Dominica will not be better. We have the skills and talents so it is not just food. Attract our young people back who have the Computer Science, Forensic Science, and other degrees so we can have our own technological center and our own forensic science lab. While tourism is very important, it is NOT our best ALTERNATIVE!!!

    • Jayson
      February 15, 2011

      Nobody is stopping private persons from undertaking these ventures. As far as I know, the government is all for it!

  20. The truth
    February 15, 2011

    I am not too sure about that one. I think we should work on self sustainability first. Like having factories to produce all our own food like meat, citrus and coffee and food itself. With that in place we could begin export. Tourism is not the only thing to keep us going. It can be but it’s how you Market the country. Further more, with self sustainability we depend on what we generate more that outside intervention and we create jobs in the process. Alot of jobs for all kinds of farmers and more…

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